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Mercedes Group anticipates generating an upper level single digit % gain in productivity this year and may be in quest of a location for a new European factory and is escalating smart production.

Once the build for the US market is underway, the Hambach plant in France is expected to see its maximum annual capacity rise to between 125,000 and 140,000upa from around 105,000 at present, but the cars may be sold at a loss, he added.

This supply and demand predicament puzzles me?

How is it they could (smartUSA/Penske, smart GmbH and the DaimlerChrysler Group could not identify, what the U.S. market would support?

They had their test market Canada. When smart car GmbH began selling the cars in Canada; they estimated the first years sales would be less that 1000. Read More

In less than 3 years they have sold over 10,000 Smarts. The formula for Canadian car sales compared to America car sales is times 10.

They also had marketing support from the "Gray Car Market." In May of 2005 Zap tried to order 76,500 Smart cars from smart car GmbH and
DaimlerChrysler Group totaling the sum of $1.03 billion. Read More

Zap, had held talks with smart car GmbH officials in Germany on March 21, 2005. On May 24, it (ZAP) placed a purchase order directly to the smart car GmbH and DaimlerChrysler Group.

The order for 76,500 Smart cars was over one half of smart's total sales for the prior year.

One thing is undeniable having an inventory of 20,000 2008 Smart cars for the 2008 model year is inadequate, unfortunate planning or a great marketing technique?
 

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smart happens here!
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Well I think the 75,000 number seems to be a lot of investor smoke and mirror. Zap would have lost their lunch if the deal went through; Canadian folks got about as many as they wanted, and don't think the market would have been good for $25,000 smarts here in the US!
 

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Well I think the 75,000 number seems to be a lot of investor smoke and mirror. Zap would have lost their lunch if the deal went through; Canadian folks got about as many as they wanted, and don't think the market would have been good for $25,000 smarts here in the US!
Agreed. A lot of those $25,000 Smarts are still available and unclaimed.


So what's in it for MB to boost total production to 140,000 units/yr just to continue losing money on the project. Doesn't make much sense.
 

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You are absolutely right, SmartCard...(again...:) ) I for one would not buy a Smart for $25,000. Cost per pound is TOO MUCH for what you are getting. My S-2000 cost around $12 per pound. The Smart at $25,000 would be around $15 per pound even though the cars are in much different classes altogether. The 0-60's can't EVEN compare...that's for sure. I can even get a consistant 30mpg on the highway if I drive respectably and don't kick in the V-tec too much.
 

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smart happens here!
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Agreed. A lot of those $25,000 Smarts are still available and unclaimed.


So what's in it for MB to boost total production to 140,000 units/yr just to continue losing money on the project. Doesn't make much sense.
and of course, what is the ultimate capacity of this plant? Once you max out, that's all she wrote!
 

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Well I think the 75,000 number seems to be a lot of investor smoke and mirror.
So ZAP had "non-cancelable" orders for 76,500 smarts at $25,000 a piece. I imagine the reason DaimlerChrysler didn't ink that deal was because their execs were laughing so hard they fell off their boardroom chairs. :D
 

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You are absolutely right, SmartCard...(again...:) ) I for one would not buy a Smart for $25,000. Cost per pound is TOO MUCH for what you are getting. My S-2000 cost around $12 per pound. The Smart at $25,000 would be around $15 per pound even though the cars are in much different classes altogether. The 0-60's can't EVEN compare...that's for sure. I can even get a consistant 30mpg on the highway if I drive respectably and don't kick in the V-tec too much.
Interesting metric. I've never seen cars evaluated based on $/pound. Sounds like a real meat market.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Proper Inventory Thread No More No less

My post wasn't about buying a $25,000 Smart car or Zap.

It was only a comment concerning the supply and demand problem that will be facing some Smart car buyers.

No matter what anyone thinks selling 10,000 plus Smart cars in the Canadian market was a huge accomplishment and a enormous surprise to all involved.

None the less when the cars first became available many Canadian's waited over a year to get a car. Canadians got diesel versions. They had two models to choose from that got around 60 mpg because they're diesels and prices started around $12,100 for the coupe and $15,170 for the cabriolet. This was 2004.

In my opinion the Canadian launch actual made the North American niche market develop into a market that got the interest and attention of many, including Mercedes and DC.

I agree with the smoke and mirrors statement. Anyone who has followed the cars progress or lack there of understands that G & K Zap and smart-automobile, Inc were simply trying to create a market, they used Vaporware tactics and tried to provide for what was at the time an especially minor niche market, without the proper background.

If they (G & K Zap and smart-automobile, Inc) or any one had proper resources the goal to sell 15,000 smarts a year in the larger U.S. cities was achievable. J.K. Technologies, the very first registered importer who petitioned for smart cars approval. They never got off the ground.

Remember, according to the principles of G & K Zap and smart-automobile, Inc prices were to start at "$12,000 for the cheapest model, and just over $20,000 for a convertible with all the available extras" "Heidemann, for his part, is optimistic the first smarts in the United States will be ready for purchase in four or five weeks." He said this in an article written by Miguel Llanos for MSNBC, back on Aug 31, 2004.

My African Grey Parrot could have sold 5000 units at the advertisied prices.

smart-automobile, Inc and G&K did the buying. Cars came from dealer's unsold inventories or wholesalers. Their cost was around $9,000 for a Passion coupe and $11,500 for the Cabriolet, FOB European Port.
These prices were before the cars were converted and did not include shipping to Santa Ann CA for conversion.

Zap sued Mercedes-Benz, SMART-Automobile/Heidemann and G&K, by the way there's is a guy suing God. Zap has sold 500 Smart cars and G & K approximately 4000.
 

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Daimlerchrysler Didn't Ink Any Deal

I imagine the real reason DaimlerChrysler didn't ink any deal back then, with Zap or any one was because they had huge money problems and other plans, plus the Smart was not ready for the U.S market.

On 11/03/2004 I got an email from [email protected].

She wrote:

Thank you for your e-mail and interest in smart!

"We regret to tell you that all current smart vehicles (smart fortwo, smart crossblade, smart roadster, smart forfour) were not designed to meet US homologation requirements. No action will be taken from our side to adapt the current smart product range to US homologation requirements.

There for, the first smart vehicle which will come to the US is a smart utility vehicle designed specifically for that market. It will arrive in the USA around 2006."

"If you decide to import a smart vehicle to the US at this moment, you do this at your own risk. We would like to inform you that we do not have any information regarding customers who have managed to register a smart vehicle in the USA."

"Furthermore, it is recommended to perform service- and maintenance checks at authorized smart Centers only. For technical and warranty reasons, even in our current markets, service can only be done in garages homologated for service and maintenance, since those garages are exclusively equipped with the necessary tools, e.g. the computer diagnosis system. For all these reasons, the smart gmbh does not advice nor support purchasing a smart vehicle and importing it to the USA at the moment."

"We hope this answers your question and thank you for contacting us!

If you have any further question don't hesitate to contact us again."

Kind regards,

your smart Infocenter team
 
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